The Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV that began production in 2012. Apart from being the first vehicle to feature the new Soul of Motion design language by Mazda, the CX-5 is also the first to take advantage of the SkyActiv Technology suite that combines a rigid and lightweight platform with a new series of transmissions and engines to reduce emissions and boost fuel efficiency. As a result, the Mazda CX-5 was recognized by the Green Car Journal as one of the finalists for the Green Car of the Year award for 2013 at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Innovative engineering and design are central to the SkyActiv strategy, an all-encompassing label that means weight-saving and fuel improvements on the overall. The Mazda CX-5 is the first to take advantage of this so you’ll definitely see some upgrades that Mazda has never offered before. This is complemented by the use of Mazda’s latest design language which incorporates a wide-mouthed grille to create an identity for not just the CX-5 but for future Mazda cars to come. And as the company claims, the CX-5 is one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class, what with a coefficient of drag of 0.33.
In terms of space, the CX-5 has a lot, thanks to a 2,700mm wheelbase that translates to generous legroom at the back. The 503-litre boot should also be big enough to handle whatever you require. Should you need to move something long, rear seats split 40/20/40 to make room. There’s a lot of practicality within the CX-5, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Capable of going from 0 to 60mph within 9.4 seconds, the CX-5 is no slow poke. However, where the real gains are with this vehicle lies in the amount of control it offers when you’re on the move already, achieving high revs without skipping a beat. There’s typical noise from the diesel engine but it is kept down as much as possible such that low-rev situations only elicit a comfortable purr, most especially when you’re cruising on smooth roads. Power is nicely complemented with fuel economy, with official figures stating 61.4mpg.
While there are petrol and diesel engines available with the Mazda CX-5, the petrol unit is only available with a front-wheel drive system and manual transmission. You’d have to go for a diesel engine if you’re interested in a CX-5 but want to save on costs. Additionally, the only way to make the most out of a four-wheel drive system with automatic transmission is to get a 173bhp diesel engine.
While the CX-5 boasts of massive improvements on exterior design, it still has ways to go when it comes to the interior. There’s a lot of equipment, sure, and build quality is respectable, but architecture is unimaginative and many of the materials could’ve been better. There’s a sat-nav system in place but the unit looks fairly old-fashioned so you won’t feel like you’re using it with a more modern car. Buttons are also cluttered and storage is lacking, with some spots working better should they have been turned into cupholders.
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